Signed, Mata Hari by Yannick Murphy
A Novel

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In the cold October of 1917 Margaretha Zelle, better known as Mata Hari, sits in a prison cell in Paris awaiting trial on charges of espionage. The penalty is death by firing squad. As she waits, burdened by a secret guilt, Mata Hari tells stories, Scheherazade-like, to buy back her life from her interrogators.
From a bleak childhood in the Netherlands, through a loveless marriage to a Dutch naval officer, Margaretha is transported to the forbidden sensual pleasures of Indonesia. In the chill of her prison cell she spins tales of rosewater baths, native lovers, and Javanese jungles, evoking the magical world that sustained her even as her family crumbled. And then, in flight from her husband, Margaretha reinvents herself: she becomes an artist's model, circus rider, and finally the temple dancer Mata Hari, dressed in veils, admired by Diaghilev, performing for the crowned heads of Europe. Through all her transformations, her life's fatal questions---was she a traitor, and if so, why?---burns ever brighter.

About Yannick Murphy

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Yannick Murphy is the author of Stories in Another Language, The Sea of Trees, and Here They Come. She lives in Reading, Vermont, with her husband and three children.
Published January 1, 2007 by Abacus. 224 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Signed, Mata Hari

Kirkus Reviews

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Mata Hari survives typhoid and eventually persuades MacLeod to move back to Europe.

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The New York Times

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Imagine, if you care to, a high school stage packed with fresh-scrubbed Oklahoma teenagers, shrilly belting out a ballad of tribute to a woman of mystery whose passions they can’t conceive, whose name they can scarcely pronounce: “Mata Hari, Mata Hari — oh what a wicked girl was she!

Dec 23 2007 | Read Full Review of Signed, Mata Hari: A Novel

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Entertainment Weekly

Ninety years after her firing-squad execution, Mata Hari is still the most infamous female spy of all.

Nov 23 2007 | Read Full Review of Signed, Mata Hari: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

(The case documents will be unsealed in 2017, then revealing whether or not Mata Hari was a spy.) The only consistent criticism of the book was that some of the sex scenes seem more mythological than real—but then again, this is Mata Hari.

Jan 31 2008 | Read Full Review of Signed, Mata Hari: A Novel

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